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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Editorial: SKIN BLEACHING & NIPPLE PIERCING – What’s Next ?

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There is a saying that there is never a dull moment in politics but St. Vincent and the Grenadines seems to be heavily focused on the trivial rather than on the serious political and economic challenges confronting the country.

Part of the problem lies in the constant campaigning mode by all political parties. Since 2005, although some claim earlier, this country has been ‘on your marks’, with party officials waiting always to out manoeuvre each other on each and every issue.

For the past two weeks, political opponents of the ULP have shouted across their glass windows that recently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Hon Keisal Peters has been bleaching. For some, this makes her unworthy of holding ministerial responsibility, makes her less of a woman and less of a role model. Of course, no one knows whether or not Minister Peters is bleaching her skin. The Minister is yet to make a public statement on the matter, seemingly taking a ‘dignified silence’.

Over the past few days, another scandal has embroiled Vincentian politics as a video surfaced of East Kingstown Member of Parliament Fitz Bramble getting his nipples pierced whilst using a plethora of profanities. Bramble has publicly apologised for his “very regrettable use of profanity” but is adamant that his body piercing is “a personal choice which does not offend nor violate anyone.”

What is good for the goose must be good for the gander

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We may agree with Bramble that his body piercing does not inhibit his ability to represent the constituents of East Kingstown. In fact, members of the electorate themselves have body piercings of all sorts. However, the same must be true for Minister Peters if the allegations of skin bleaching are indeed true. Does this impair her ability to perform in the high office to which she was recently elevated? Certainly, the answer must be no.

However, politicians of all stripes must be aware that though they are humans like all of us, there is a higher construct of personal responsibility which they must exercise having put themselves in the public domain as standard bearers of our society. It is your public duty which tears away the veil between your private and public life. This week’s leadership transition in the United Kingdom should serve to remind all politicians how their personal lives and decisions can cripple an entire nation.

Bigger Issues

At the start of the new school term, it is disheartening that much time must be spent on these trivial issues with so many serious matters still at the fore. To err is to be human but it is not a get out of jail free card for those who trample decency, morals and public values, now and in the future.

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